Same-Sex Custody Battle Puts Florida Law on Shaky Ground


same sex custody florida

The definition of motherhood has been put in question. A same-sex lesbian couple custody battle in Tallahassee, Florida may change custody laws in the sunshine state, and possibly the nation. The very definition of motherhood under the country’s law may be put up for debate.

Both individuals involved in the custody battle are former law enforcement officers in the state of Florida. The Brevard County couple decided to conceive in their early twenties. The process is a common one today used for same-sex couples, one individual donates an egg which is fertilized and the opposite partner carries the embryo full term. In this situation the issue of motherhood can become muddied; one mother is technically the biological parent, yet the other is considered the birth mother since she carried the child full term.

At the time of the couples divorce, the biological parent took the child without consulting with the birth mother; taking the child to Australia. The mother and child were found by a private detective and ordered back the states in order to attend court for a custody trial.

Currently state law has sided with the “biological” parent. A trial judge has ruled the egg donor to be the legal guardian of the 8 year old child. The trial judge had stated after the conclusion of the case, the appeals court should overturn his decision. The 5th District Court of Appeals obliged, saying both parents in this case have the same rights. At this time, the Supreme Court of Florida is deciding whether to take on the case, in turn challenging the current state laws on custody in Florida.

Custody laws can been difficult to understand. It is important to speak with an attorney who is up to date on parental rights when it comes to the issue of custody. When deciding to consult an attorney in the matter of custody in Tampa, Fla., consider the Law Firm of Ayo and Iken, PLC., where Knowledge is power. For more information, please contact us.

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Howard Iken is a Florida attorney that practices in family law, bankruptcy, and criminal law. He can be reached at